News / Americas

US Marines Arrive in Earthquake Ravaged Haiti

Haitians watch as a US Navy helicopter lands in front of the heavily damaged presidential palace in Port-au-Prince 19 Jan 2010
Haitians watch as a US Navy helicopter lands in front of the heavily damaged presidential palace in Port-au-Prince 19 Jan 2010

Multimedia

Thousands of United States Marines and other troops are moving into Haiti to assist with relief efforts one week after the country's deadly earthquake. Also Tuesday, the United Nations authorized sending more peacekeepers and police to the devastated nation to help maintain security. U.S. helicopters landed on the ground of the shattered presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.

Crowds of Haitians cheered as the troops arrived and began to distribute aid.

The deputy commander of the U.S. military effort in Haiti, Army Major General Daniel Allyn, says military units will continue to deliver food, water and other critical supplies. "The delivery of capability here in Haiti is a balancing act that requires troops on the ground to distribute humanitarian assistance, the supplies for them to distribute and the mobility necessary for them to be able to reach the communities that are most stricken," he said.

As paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne provided security for the city's General Hospital, a U.S. Marine Expeditionary Unit landed west of the capital.

The Marines will distribute aid in the area and establish a hub for delivery of relief supplies elsewhere.

While there have been reports of looting, General Allyn says U.N. and Haitian forces continue to have lead responsibility for security, which he says has been good despite extremely difficult circumstances. "We are watching for signs of instability.  At present, there are pockets in areas of Haiti and the U.N. security forces are working with the Haitian national police to address those pockets as they arise," he said.

U.S. commanders say more than 10,000 military personnel will be in Haiti or offshore within the next few days.

Also Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed to authorize as many as 3,500 new peacekeepers and police for Haiti.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the Council's decision sends the message to the people of Haiti that the world is with them.  "We must do all we can to get these extra forces on the ground as soon as possible, so that they can help maintain order and deliver humanitarian assistance," he said.

Mr. Ban says distribution of tents, medical supplies, food and water is increasing daily. "We distributed daily food rations yesterday for nearly 200,000 people.  We expect to be reaching approximately one-million people within a week," he said.

Meanwhile, across from the presidential palace, relief workers delivered water to some of the huge number of people left homeless by the quake.

Inoge Laviette is with the aid organization Action Against Hunger and spoke with VOA's Jeff Swicord in Port-au-Prince. "Sometimes when they are desperate; they will drink any water - even dirty water with bacteria - to survive," he said.

Mirland Xavier's house was destroyed and for the past week she and her family have been sleeping under a tree. She says they are running out of food and money and have yet to receive assistance. "No one has distributed anything to us.  Whatever we have, we manage to share," she said.

Thousands of people are still believed to be buried under collapsed buildings, while streets continue to be littered with debris and decomposing bodies.

The desperate circumstances have led some Haitians to flee the capital for the countryside.

Officials estimate the earthquake killed about 200,000 people and affected an estimated 3 million, about a third of Haiti's population.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Poll: Record Number of Mexicans Crime Victims in 2013

While government data shows murder rate has fallen in past 2 years, crimes such as kidnapping and extortion, which affect wider swath of the population, rise
More

OAS Asks Members to Take In Guantanamo Detainees

Organization of American States issues appeal for member countries to take in detainees from US military prison
More

Recession Looms Over Venezuela, Official Data Under Wraps

Empty store shelves, closed factory gates and idled construction projects tell their own story
More

US Judge Holds Argentina in Contempt Over Bond Payment Plan

In rare move, District Judge Thomas Griesa says country taking 'illegal' steps to evade his orders in longstanding dispute with hedge funds over defaulted debt
More

Brazil's Rousseff Extends Lead Over Silva in Elections

President Dilma Rousseff's expected victory margin over closest rival Marina Silva has surged to 9 percentage points
More

8 Killed in Peru Quake

The victims of the 4.9-magnitude tremor were all from the mountainous community of Misca, where many homes collapsed in the quake
More